A rapidly melting world

Bears

Following on the heels of two important news stories — that polar bears are approaching extinction and that the Arctic is rapidly melting — comes further evidence dually bolstering the claims of those two stories:

The Arctic’s largest ice shelf has fractured.

I have very little optimism left on this topic, except my strong belief that Mother Nature will keep chugging along, finding new ways to adapt in spite of all the environmental degradation.

But it pains me to think of all the species and habitat that will be destroyed first, and the chaotic, dirty and troubled world we’re handing to future generations.

(photo: lumsdsop/Stock.xchng)

Jetsetting to D.C. via the Jersey Turnpike

This weekend we’re heading down to Washington, D.C., for a few days of New Year’s debauchery. Unlike our last two weekends (during which we flew to Virginia and Texas, respectively), this time we’re renting a car and hitting the open highway known as the New Jersey Turnpike (slogan: Eight lanes of gridlock!).

I love Washington; I find it to be a very chic city, and yet clean and tidy like a small town. Even the bad parts of town are pretty nice.

I did a search of museum exhibits today, and well, the choices are downright amazing.

Like New York City, D.C. is a place where it’s hard to be bored.

D.C.

photo: ctoocheck/Stock.xchng

Random Recipe: Ruby ‘Ritas

Ruby Red grapefruits are a South Texas specialty. Their red flesh is sugar-infused, making them much more tasty than plain old grapefruit. While home for the holidays this weekend, we hastily bought an 18-pound bag from a man with a roadside stand, and then thought “What are we going to do with 20 sweet, delicious grapefruit?”

Thankfully my parents had a large bottle of Jose Cuervo. So, presto: Ruby Red Ritas!

Because the nectar is so sweet, all you need is:

-Juice of several fresh Ruby Reds (we like to keep the pulp in the drink)

-Tequila

-Ice

-Salt for glass lip

And voila:

Ruby Ritas

Thirty damn years

Thirty

It has been thirty damn years since I was born.

On one (youthful, sparkly) hand, I feel great to be thirty and am living a life I could have never dreamed. I’m a health editor in New York City, possibly on the verge of becoming a published fiction writer. I have a witty, smart husband with brilliant taste in all things cultured, and a dog who couldn’t possibly get fuzzier.

On the other (wrinkled, wilted) hand, I no longer enjoy watching MTV and vehemently hate teenagers. I worry about getting older and becoming invisible. I have never liked the passage of time very much, how work days take forever and vacations days go by in a blink.

So, it’s with mixed reactions that I greet this day. But mostly positive mixed reactions.

photo courtesy: stock.xchng

Pass me another veggie burger

*Cough* I love being validated with articles like this….

Intelligent Kids More Likely to Become Vegetarians, Study Says

c.2006 Bloomberg News

By Eva von Schaper

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — Children with a higher intelligence quotient at age 10 are more likely to become vegetarians later in life, according to a study published online today by the British Medical Journal.

People with an IQ of 110 were two-and-a-half times more likely to avoid eating meat, the lead author of the study, Catherine Gale of the University of Southampton, said in a telephone interview. Researchers studied more than 8,000 men and women, and found vegetarians were more likely to be women, belong to a higher social class, and have higher educational degrees.

“If you are bright, you are more likely to understand health information, and more likely to act on it,” Gale, a senior research fellow, said yesterday.

The results backed up findings that intelligence is associated with lower rates of heart disease.

While their intelligence may allow the vegetarian participants to be more health literate, some vegetarians act on purely ethical reasons when they give up meat, the study said.

The researchers studied participants at age 10, and followed up 20 years later. About 4.5 percent of them said they were vegetarian. Some who classified themselves as vegetarians found it acceptable to eat fish or chicken.


WAH Update

There are many benefits to WAH, such as doing laundry. And spending more time with my dog, who, when he’s not on my lap as I edit, sits in the piles of laundry.

WAhing

Recommended Reading: “Slow is Beautiful”

From the New York Times comes an excellent article on the fascinating turtle, which has the capacity to live for hundreds of years — if humans don’t drive it into extinction first.

I’ve had the amazing opportunity to volunteer with the Animal Rehabiliation Keep in Port Aransas, TX, where I got to see tiny baby Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles (the single cutest creature on the planet) grow into massive animals and be released back to the sea. But I also saw too many injured sea turtles who had been hit by boats, caught in fishing line or sickened by pollution. One permanent resident, Barnacle Bill, had only two flippers left, so he crawled along the bottom of his tank, wearing a path in the concrete floor. The water level had to be kept low so he wouldn’t have to exert himself to breathe.

Anyway, an excerpt from the article:

People may despise cats or fear dogs, but practically everybody has a soft spot for turtles. “Turtles are by far the most popular reptile,” said Peter C. H. Pritchard, director of the Chelonian Research Institute in Oviedo, Fla. “Unlike snakes, which may threaten you and which move like a flash, turtles are benign and slow, and you can’t dislike or distrust the clumsy.”

(Yet) turtle habitats are fast disappearing, or are being fragmented and transected by roads on which millions of turtles are crushed each year.

Style Me Up/Gotham Writers’ Workshop

As I sit here blogging and watching the Style Network, I’ve come to the realization that I’m utterly fascinated by fashion makeover TV shows. The best, of course, is the BBC’s What Not to Wear. I also like the American version by the same name (although Stacy and Clinton don’t hold a candle to Trinny and Susannah) and there are many other facsimiles (presently I am watching “How Do I Look?”). I’ll watch any of them.
Why? There’s always a happy ending (without fail, the women always look better and happier), and I dream of — no, ache for — receiving $5,000 just to buy new clothes.

I also love the pseudo-psychological advice, such as “You’re not honoring your dead husband by staying stuck in a style rut,” or “Mom, someone saw you taking out the trash, and they thought you were collecting cans. I felt so ashamed.”

—–

I have one more week of fiction writing class. When I first decided to take the class, I tried to do some Googling to find blog posts to see if Gotham Writers’ Workshop was well regarded by individual students. I didn’t find much, so I’m writing this post for people searching for the same info. I love Gotham Writers’ Workshop. (I’m repeating their name because this helps Google search engines find this post, and not because I like to be repetitive.) The classes are definitely in a workshop format — heavy on writing exercises and light on fiction theory/lecturing.

So, be prepared to write a lot, to be creative and to have a ton of fun. (I took the in-person class, where 15 of us plus the teacher meet in a real classroom, but I’ve heard most people enjoy the online classes too.)

I hope that I have got the sudden parentheses proclivity out of my system. (Sorry.)